English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.

Covenham

Major Settlement in the Parish of Covenham

Historical Forms

  • Covenham a1067 Whitby c.1240 DB 1086 YChii 1090–96 c.1240 Whitby 1100–15 m13 1100–15 YChii c.1400 Whitby Hy1 YChii c.1400 Fees a1135 FF c.1240 Welles 1136 Fees 1312 ValNor 1145–48 Pat c.1240 FF 1174–79 RH c.1240 QW 1212 1219,1226 1231 1238–43 1254 1270 1271 1276 1281
  • Covanham 1577 Terrier
  • Couenham 1086 DB Hy2 Gilb 1409 Dane lHy2 P 1191,1192 RAv l12 P 1201,1202,1203,1204 FF 1231,1246 Ass 1282 Monson c.1300 Foster 1424
  • Kouenham 1187(1409),Hy3(1409) Gilb
  • Choveneham 1082 Pat 1303
  • Couenam c.1115 LS
  • Covenom c.1155 Gilb 1409
  • Coveham c.1115 LS 1237,1242–43 Fees 1254 Percy 14
  • Coueham 1191,1193,1194,1195 P 1196 ChancR 1197,1198,1199 P 1199 Memo 1200,1206,1207,1208,1209,1210,1211,1212,1214 P 1567,1614 Harm
  • Koueham 1230 P
  • Couam 1383 Peace
  • Conam 1427 Cl 1457 Pat 1507 Ipm 1526 Sub 1601,1625 Terrier
  • Coname 1574 AD
  • Conham 1519 DVi 1532–33 ECP
  • Coneham 1576 LER

Etymology

According to Ekwall, DEPN s.n., this is 'the homestead at a recess', v. cofa , hām . There does not seem to be any marked topographical feature here, which would fit the description of 'cove, a recess in the steep side of a hill, etc.', so it is more likely that the first el. is an OE  pers.n. *Cōfa , the probable first el. also of Coventry, PN Wa 160–61. Covenham, therefore, appears to mean 'Cōfa's homestead, village', v. hām .

Forms in Conam etc. show a loss of medial syllable and must represent a local pronunciation, apparently not heard today, but which is found in local documents into the 18th century.

Places in the same Parish

Field